In one of his first actions as secretary of defense, Ashton Carter met over the weekend with top U.S. officials to determine a path forward in the fight against ISIS.
While threats have clearly grown, the president has sought to shrink military capability.
This radical Islamic group has increasingly shown the gruesome lengths it is willing to go to achieve its goals, and has also shown a knack for expanding its reach with atrocities such as a recent mass execution of Egyptians in Libya.
This alone is enough to consume much of the defense secretary’s time and effort, but it is only one of the threats the United States faces all over the globe.
Stability in Yemen has almost completely collapsed. Russia continues to push further into Ukraine. Tension mounts between China and its neighbors over territorial disputes. With these growing threats around the globe, the challenges facing the U.S. military are daunting.